June 25, 2019
Effects of Google’s New Mobile Search Ad Format
A number of advertisers are currently testing Google Expanded Text Ads and achieving great results. When conducting these tests, it may be tempting to turn off standard text ads entirely to maximize impressions for the better-performing expanded ads. But before you do, there are two very important issues to keep in mind.
Expanded Text Ads (ETAs) are likely not yet running on all Google Search Partners. For example, there is strong evidence that ETAs are not currently in use for Amazon’s Sponsored Links (which are supplied by Google). To date, we have not yet seen an Expanded Text Ad running on Amazon. This research includes a multitude of searches across a number of verticals.
There is a small chance that some ETAs are currently active on Amazon (possibly with Headline 2 not displayed). However, we have yet to find an example of this. If you do see an Expanded Text Ad running on Amazon, please send a screenshot to me via Twitter. I would love to see it.
If you do turn off standard ads, it’s likely you are cutting off a portion of Search Partner traffic.
Related to the above issue, Search Partners are over-indexing for standard text ads (vs ETAs). With that in mind, any analysis of ETAs vs standard text ads should exclude all Search Partner data. Otherwise, your data will be skewed, with standard text ads reporting a lower click-through rate since Search Partners often have a lower CTR than Google Search.
In addition, we recommend looking at only Google Search: Top data for the most apples-to-apples comparison. This allows you to compare the performance of the different ad types when showing in similar positions.
Expanded Text Ads are important and valuable, but it’s not quite time to dump your standard text ads.